Best Pergola Material: Wood vs. Vinyl

You’ve admired pergolas for years. You love the look and the elegance that they bring to a backyard space. Now that you’re finally ready to buy one, you have one question: what’s the best pergola material?

Vinyl, pressure treated wood, or cedar — you have a few options. The pergola material you choose determines the pergola price, the style, the maintenance needs, and how long your pergola will last. At The Backyard Showcase, we are the headquarters for all things outdoor living, and we’re here to help you find the best pergola for your yard and your budget!

Picking the Best Material for Pergolas

Any high-quality backyard pergola can add extra shade and style to your outdoor living space. Finding the best material for pergolas is more a matter of finding the right one for YOU. There are advantages to wood, vinyl, and cedar pergolas — that’s why we build and sell all three.
Pressure-Treated Wood Pergolas
pressure treated wood pergola material

The greatest number of color options paired with the most budget-friendly price — it’s easy to see why pressure treated wood is one of the best pergola materials on the market. Able to be stained or painted, wood pergolas can complete an elegantly simple rustic design — or stand out as a bold accent piece. But although our wooden pergolas are pressure treated to resist rot, mold, and bugs, they are more susceptible to these than other pergola materials.

See more affordable pergola options HERE!


  • Can be stained or painted for the most color options
  • Match both rustic and modern decor
  • Budget-friendly price tag


  • Requires re-painting and re-staining
  • Even with maintenance, has the shortest lifespan

Start Shopping Wood Pergolas
Vinyl Pergolas
vinyl pergola material

The most popular pergola we sell — and it’s not even close. Vinyl pergolas boast the classic and clean style that looks amazing on decks, patios, and other outdoor spaces. The elegant look of white vinyl enhances almost any outdoor space — while standing out as a true style centerpiece. In many ways, vinyl is the best pergola material as it will last a lifetime with only minimal maintenance on your part. However, all of these advantages come at a price — vinyl pergolas are the most expensive choice on the market.

Learn more about vinyl vs. wood pergolas!


  • Standout scene-stealing quality
  • Completely impervious to mold, termites, and rot
  • Never needs to be painted or re-stained


  • Highest price point
  • Can’t be painted

Start Shopping Vinyl Pergolas
Cedar Wood Pergolas
cedar wood pergola material

Another type of wooden pergola, cedar, has a distinct look and other unique qualities. The western red cedar pergolas we build are naturally tough against the rot and bugs that damage normal lumber. In addition, this gorgeous lumber also has a distinct cedar smell that many homeowners love. While these pergolas can’t be painted, they can — and need to be stained — to keep that signature red hue. Red cedar is one of the best materials for pergolas and the price is right in the middle between our other two pergola material options.

Check out our popular pergola accessories HERE!


  • Unique red color
  • Tough on bugs and rot
  • Great cedar scent


  • Still requires some maintenance
  • More expensive than pressure treated lumber

Start Shopping Cedar Pergolas


Insist on The Best Pergola Material

Pressured treated wood, cedar, and vinyl all have their admirers and they all look amazing in a variety of different backyard environments. While picking the truly best material for a pergola can be difficult, we do know there’s one thing for sure: quality matters.

Big box stores sell pergolas at too-good-to-be-true prices, and sometimes homeowners take a gamble on them. A lot of times they regret this decision, and we end up replacing the pergola a few months later. These assembly line-built pergolas fall apart quickly, don’t look good up close, and aren’t at all customizable.

More than any individual material, the best pergola is built by craftsmen — not in a factory. Every single pergola you’ll find at The Backyard Showcase was built by real Amish craftsmen. See any of our products up close and you’ll understand the difference that our handmade quality makes.

The first step to completing your outdoor living space is to get your free pergola quote. Contact us to start the conversation or stop by our Lancaster showroom today!

Share This Post: